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Backpacker I Adventurer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So you have been thinking of buying a pair of two way radios. But you are a solo backpacker, so what use could you possibly get out of them? Well I have turned them into a useful survival tool.

When heading out make sure both of your radios are fully charged. One radio goes with you, the other you leave in your car in open view with the charger. Next you have a written letter detailing your itinerary, emergency contacts, and a note stating that you will check your radio at special times through out the day (usually 2-4 times a day), for 5-10 minutes. Make sure to put down which channel you will be on. Leave this note either on your dash board of your car, or stuck behind the windshield wiper. Write in bold block letters "For Search and Rescue" on the outside of the envelope.

The idea is that should you go missing, and not return by the time you told your family, friends, and/or the park rangers, the S&R team will not only have a detailed itinerary of your plans, but also a way to possibly get in contact with you at some point during the day. Leaving the charger allows them to have the radio on all the time and fully charged.

What type of two way radio you whant to buy is up to you. I personally go for ones with good range and are water proof. You pay a bit more, but I'd rather have one I know will work after a down pour catches me, then one that will break after a morning dew.

Just think, you're sitting under a tree lost and you forgot your pack at camp somewhere but you brought your radio in your pocket or attached to your belt. You're a day pass due to return home. Your friends call the rangers telling them you've not shown up and havne't returned any calls (cell phones don't work where you're at.) The rangers go to your car, see the letter written to S&R. Reading it, they get all the information they need to get a general idea of where to start.

By your letter they turn the radio on at 4 PM, and wait to hear from you. You look at your watch and turn your radio on. Clicking it 3 times to send an S.O.S. you then transmit "Hello, can anyone hear me? I'm lost and in need of medical attention." Within moments you hear the rangers reply "We copy you. What's your location, we'll get you out." Now while you might not know exactly where you are, but you could probably give them a general idea, or at least some local land marks perhapse they might recognize.

This allows you to possibly get medical or survival helps via radio till S&R find you, and a big moral boost to hear a humans voice and know you aren't alone and will be found.

Rather then leave the radio in your car, you could also always leave it with the park rangers at the station, telling them what it's for. I am sure that most DNR agents will be understand and helpful when it comes to smart thinking like this. And if the rangers have the radio plugged in at all times and on, you could just turn yours on and call in for any kind of emergency that might arise. Perhapse you come across someone lost or injured, or you yourself become so. Rather then having to wait till someone figures out you're missing you could just call in for help.
 

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thank you vets
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I like the idea you had at the end of your post.I think it would be a better idea to leave the radio with someone who you; know or trust rather that just leaving in the car.This is a good idea and can bring help if and when needed.Just another way of being prepared.
 

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Backpacker I Adventurer
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. The only problem with leaving it with someone you know is the range of the radios as the cheap ones have a range around 8 miles while the more expensive ones around 25 miles. So would depend on where you're backpacking.
 

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Backpacker I Adventurer
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cell phones don't always work as haha stated. Not saying you shouldn't bring one along or try to use it. As for Ham radios they're a bit big to haul along in a backpack.
 

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Cell phones don't always work as haha stated. Not saying you shouldn't bring one along or try to use it. As for Ham radios they're a bit big to haul along in a backpack.
i did it once up the side of a mountian was for ham radio day... cb not bad though
 

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Cell phones don't always work as haha stated. Not saying you shouldn't bring one along or try to use it. As for Ham radios they're a bit big to haul along in a backpack.
I disagree with that. Here is the exact ham radio (handheld) that I own...

IC-T7H Sport Dual Band FM Transceiver

Dimensions(minus antenna): 2 1⁄4(W) × 4 11⁄32 × 11⁄16(D) in
Weighs in at 10oz with standard battery pack.
 

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The FRS and GMRS radio are indeed easier to obtain and better priced than the HAM portables. Thanks to the OP for the reminder and a few ideas on how to better use them. No doubt that more people have them than HAM's.

Not that I would not like to have a good HAM but don't have the money or time to get the license.
 

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Backpacker I Adventurer
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I disagree with that. Here is the exact ham radio (handheld) that I own...

IC-T7H Sport Dual Band FM Transceiver

Dimensions(minus antenna): 2 1⁄4(W) × 4 11⁄32 × 11⁄16(D) in
Weighs in at 10oz with standard battery pack.
Huh, never seen those before. When I think of ham radios I think of the big trucker things. Learn something new every day. Yes a ham radio like that would be a much better idea. Have to look into those and then go about getting a liscense for them.
 

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Backpacker I Adventurer
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Not to hijack your thread but don't forget the value of marking down the make, model and size of your hiking boots. This information has been known to save lives before.

$.02
Very good info. I didn't think of that. But you are right, I do recall reading various tales of backpackers found by their shoe prints. Old fasion tracking at it's best. Thanks for your 2 cents.
 

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Cell phones don't always work as haha stated. Not saying you shouldn't bring one along or try to use it. As for Ham radios they're a bit big to haul along in a backpack.
Actually there are HF rigs made that are designed specifically for backpacking. Portable antenna straps to your pack frame and assembles into a fullsized tuneable whip. Yaesu is the best of the bunch in this arena. Of course Two Meter HTs are by and far the easiest to carry and most hiking areas throughout the country are within the range of at least one repeater. Many of these repeaters are set up in these areas by design, for this specific reason. And with a wire Jpole antenna these handheld rigs get some exceptional range.

Questions? throw me a personal...
 

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I disagree with that. Here is the exact ham radio (handheld) that I own...

IC-T7H Sport Dual Band FM Transceiver

Dimensions(minus antenna): 2 1⁄4(W) × 4 11⁄32 × 11⁄16(D) in
Weighs in at 10oz with standard battery pack.


Check out this world band ham (HF) radio
http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cm...2B25B12AB4DC9C0D27&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0

When most people think ham radio they think world band HF, as the original poster commented. I have two HTs that are smaller than a pack of cigarettes, and HF equipment the size of a hard cover novel... as well as the older equipment most people envision ( I know you know about this but I'm replying for the benefit of the others)
 

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Great idea about the two way radio. I have also noticed that hikers in the vicinity can be heard on the radio. Could be used for another source of help or relay. Guess it all depends on how popular of an area you hike/camp in.

On a side note, was out hiking with a buddy of mine and S & R were doing training and one of the guys asked to see our boot prints. He said not the one and moved on.
 

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The FRS and GMRS radio are indeed easier to obtain and better priced than the HAM portables. Thanks to the OP for the reminder and a few ideas on how to better use them. No doubt that more people have them than HAM's.

Not that I would not like to have a good HAM but don't have the money or time to get the license.
Actually there are more ham radio operators than you realize. A good HT sells for under 150 dollars and is of professional quality, not the cheap frs/gmrs that you are used to seeing. Real dedicated GMRS radios are in the same price class as the average 2meter ham HT (handi talky). DO a web search for Amateur radio repeater frequencies and you will see how many repeaters alone are set up nation wide, multiply that by well over 100 (minimum number of users per open repeater) and you will get an idea of how many hams there are across the nation and Canada.
 

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This is the FT-817, this is what I keep as and emergency radio along (and my mobile HF radio)with a few rechargeable battery packs and a few disposable battery packs. It covers shortwave, low band VHF, high band VHF and UHF it's the smallest and lightest multi-band radio out there. The TX and RX can be expanded with a simple mod. I also keep a really small HF antenna tuner and a 200ft of military phone line to use as an antenna.

 

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Backpacker I Adventurer
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Taking an ink print of your boot to add to the letter is a good idea. I might go about doing this.
 
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